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Hyatt Eastern's 2009 Distinguished Faculty Member

Written by Jack Meltzer



                       Environmental Earth Science Professor James "Drew" Hyatt  


            Willimantic, Conn. -James Andrew Hyatt, professor of Environmental Earth Science at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been named recipient of the University's 2009 annual Distinguished Faculty Member Award.  The Distinguished Faculty Member Award is considered Eastern's most prestigious in that the winner is chosen by his or her peers.

            Hyatt, of Andover, has been teaching more than 16 years, and the last 11 at Eastern.  He teaches courses ranging from the general requirements to the most advanced environmental earth science courses offered at Eastern.  In addition to teaching, Hyatt has served on many University Senate committees such as the Promotions and Tenure, Organizations, and Budget and Resource Allocation committees.  He also previously served on University-wide search committees for the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and vice president for academic affairs, the University Honors and Commencement committees, and the organizing committee of the School of Arts and Sciences Research Conference and Exhibition.  He recently accepted an administrative assignment to help improve undergraduate research at Eastern.

            Hyatt is best known for his services as a mentor and advisor both in and out of the classroom.  He insists on developing meaningful relationships with each of his students, which has resulted in record enrollment in his introductory courses in the Environmental Earth Science major. 

"In terms of teaching, he is among the most dedicated educators at Eastern," wrote Charles Wynn, chair of the Distinguished Professor Committee, in nominating Hyatt for the award.  "He always strives to provide his students with high quality lectures as well as meaningful writing assignments and quantitative computer-based exercises."

            In addition to quality lectures, Hyatt provides students with research projects that closely resemble research what they may encounter in graduate school.  Student presentations at local and national meetings have helped to make Eastern's Environmental Earth Science Department a major contributor at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. 

 "This year's awardee clearly represents the faculty ideal at Eastern," Wynn continued. "He truly exemplifies what a professor at a public liberal arts institute should be, and thereby serves as a role model for all of us."

             Hyatt's research interests fall into two main categories: geomorphologic research and multimedia research and development. His work has positively affected the local community.  By supplying lake sediment data to the Andover Lake Watershed Committee, he has helped the overall management and performance of that lake.

             This  past year Hyatt collaborated with William Jones, professor of visual arts, to contribute to the First -Year program by developing an "Art Rocks" cluster; a project that has segued into landscape analysis research. 

            Hyatt earned his bachelor's degree from McCaster University in Canada in Geography and his doctrine in Physical Geography from Queen's University in Canada.


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